We stayed two nights at the Avalon last weekend after having gotten it on a blind bid website. I didn't know anything about it but what I'd read here on TripAdvisor, and I have to say that the majority of the reviews are spot on.
The biggest thing the Avalon Hotel & Spa has going for it are the standard amenities that are often missing from other hotels in this price range - extremely comfortable beds, soft, luxurious pillows, fluffy robes, free wifi. On the flipside, they get you with having to pay $20/night for valet-only parking. I'm not sure why that is since the hotel is surrounded by a fairly large parking lot, but it is what it is.
We spent the majority of our weekend in The Pearl so the Avalon was definitely not conveniently located. We walked to about 1/2 mile to the streetcar which was great for our commute into town, but on the way back at 10 p.m. at night the streetcar broke down and we ended up having to hail a cab which cost $$$. Not the hotel's fault by any stretch of the imagination, but it just underscored how remote the hotel seems - especially at night after a few drinks.More